Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, EU-parlamentet 15 July 2014
Unprecedented measures had to be taken by the EU institutions and national
governments to stabilise Member States’ economies, consolidate public finances and prevent the results of decades of European integration from being undone.
The worst was avoided. The internal market and the integrity of the Euro zone were preserved. Slowly but surely, economic growth and confidence are now returning to Europe.
However, the crisis has taken its toll. More than 6 million people lost their job during the crisis. Youth unemployment has reached record high s.
Several of our Member States are still far away from sustainable growth and adequate levels of investment.
In many countries, trust in the European project is at a historic low.
The measures taken during the crisis can be compared to repairing a burning plane whilst flying. They were successful overall.
Yet mistakes were made. There was a lack of social fairness. Democratic legitimacy suffered as many new instruments had to be created outside the legal framework of the European Union.
For the first time, a direct link has thereby been established between the outcome of the European Parliament elections and the proposal of the President of the European Commission.
This follows long-standing calls from the European Parliament echoed and repeated over several decades.
It has the potential to insert a very necessary additional dose of democratic legitimacy into the European decision-making process,